Flames vs. Ducks Pick – NHL February 21st

A goal disallowed, multiple goal posts, an empty net missed by inches a few times, a failed 5-on-3 summed up last night. I wasn’t going to play today before I looked at the card and saw one that I couldn’t turn it away. Too many trends are looking in our direction. But, if it goes like last night, we’ll lose a heartbreaker in similar fashion. If that is the case, you won’t see me with a pick for Monday. Moving on through to Anaheim where the Flames and Ducks meet up once again. Another rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup playoff matchup between the two, where the Ducks came out victorious there. It didn’t end up amounting to much as the Ducks were unable to reach the finals, another failure of a playoff for the Ducks. However, for the Flames, it was just an accomplishment to reach the postseason. They entered the season with little to no expectations. After making the playoffs though, there were expectations placed on them this year. They haven’t met them and will have to fight hard to reach the tournament again in 2015-16.

The Ducks have been late bloomers but have turned everything around tenfold. Looking like a team that was going to struggle to make it to the playoffs, the Ducks are now looking like a comfortable contender. The Ducks are 30-19-8, just like that. It didn’t take much time for the Ducks to catch fire, but now that they have, the rest of the league should take notice. The Ducks are looking for the slow start to the season as a boost to their Stanley Cup campaign attempt. They have really never had to face any kind of adversity in the regular season for as long as I can remember. From the drop of the puck from game 1, the Ducks have ran the tables. This season was certainly different. The Ducks were 3-9 to open the season. They didn’t catch fire until December. However, the opening of a season is no way to judge a team. Let’s compare the Canadiens and Ducks. The Habs started 9-0 and the Ducks 3-9, who are in the much better position now? The Ducks are clearly the superior team. Anaheim has had the number of Calgary for a long time now. We will see if anything changes tonight in Anaheim.

Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks NHL Pick

This hasn’t been a close series at all. The Ducks have won five straight games over the Flames. They have also gone 8-2 in their last ten meetings. Further, Anaheim has been a house of horror for the Flames. If you like trends and statistics, you’re going to like this one: the Flames haven’t won in Anaheim since 2006. The Ducks have gone 21-0 against the Flames in their last twenty-one games in Anaheim. Quite the number that is difficult to ignore.

Jonas Hiller looks to be getting the call for the Flames in net. The former Duck has been having all kind of problems this season. This is a case of the Flames hand being forced. Starter Karri Ramo suffered a season-ending injury, thrusting Hiller back into a starting role. Hiller needs to get better, a lot better, if the Flames are going to have any kind of remote chance of making a run at the playoffs. Hiller owns a 3.20 GAA this season, as
well as a dismal 0.889 save percentage. He has a whopping 4.14 GAA against the Ducks throughout his career!

The Ducks are 8-1-1 in their last ten games, they have won four straight games. In those four games they scored an average of 4.75 goals. The Ducks have scored an average of 4 goals in their last ten, a huge number. There is not one single factor going for the Flames tonight in this matchup. If you feel more comfortable taking the ML take that, but I’m going to look for a bit blowout from the Ducks tonight, in at least a 2 goal win against a team who hasn’t won in Anaheim since 2006.

PICK: DUCKS -1.5 (+163)